What Has Changed in Hevron?

Hebron is an example for all of Eretz Yisrael. What happened to 85% of the territory of Hebron 30 years after it was conquered, will happen G-d forbid to Yehuda and Shomron if we do not wake up and realize that the mitzvah of “yishuv HaAretz” includes conquering it from it’s inhabitants,and one cannot separate one from the other because it seems less nice or ethical.

An honest look at the new reality which has been created in Hebron would reveal that not much has really changed. What is that, you say? Does not the handing over of the city to the Arabs constitute a change? If we want to be truthful to ourselves, we have to admit that even before the “redeployment”, Hebron was not really in our hands, and if it was in our hands, then it was strictly on borrowed time. The moment the decision was made after the Six-Day War to leave the Arabs in Hebron or in any part of the Land of Israel for that matter – from that day onward, the countdown for the relinquishment of those territories began. He who refuses to disinherit the goyim (that is, to expel the Arabs as Rashi explains in Numbers 33, that “disinherit” is to expel) from Hebron and from the Land of Israel at large, is essentially refusing to inherit the land. There is no inheriting without disinheriting, for one is dependent on another, and this subject we have discussed over and over again. The great mistake of the right, including the settlers (especially the settlers), was that they always preferred to deal in the relatively comfortable aspect of the mitzvah “Yishuv HaAretz”(settling the land). That is, the building of settlements. But they scornfully neglected and rejected the second aspect – that “not nice” part of the mitzvah, which is the expulsion of the goyim.

Through the example of Hebron, we can see most concretely the deluded andout of touch policy of the settler movement. Here is the small Jewish “yishuv” placed amongst a sea of Jew-hating Arabs in Hebron, in which there exists the highest concentration of “Hamas” and “Jihad” activists (not that there is any difference between them and the PLO, except for the fact thePLO is cleverer), and they think that can live together in peace and harmony. Nonsense! Anyone who holds such illusions has no one to blame other than himself when the bubble bursts. What is even sadder is that it has been the settlers themselves who have most fervently pushed the bogus notion of co-existence all these years! They simply did not have the courage to objectively see the realities and bring the proper message to the people. And so, in the end, they are essentially to blame for the official handing over of Hebron to the Arabs. The Almighty gave us a 30 year period to do”Tsheuva” and to the expel the murderous Arabs from Hebron, and only when we refused to obey G-d’s commandment and normal logic, it was handed over officially to the Arabs. What did we expect? Could it have been any other way? Were the Arabs supposed to leave by themselves, or suddenly transform into Israel loving “resident strangers”?

Let us see the reality of the situation with objective eyes: Before the”redeployment”, were there not parts of Hebron where the IDF never dared to enter? We all know that it was the Arabs who truly ruled most of Hebron. And if the IDF did patrol areas, what did it accomplish? Were not these patrols merely an attempt to regain lost honor for a humiliated IDF who had to do something in order “to show who’s boss”. You say that the Jews have less security now? What about before the “redeployment?” What kind of security did Jews have then? Were Jews not stabbed and attacked in Hebron on a permanent basis? Was there not then, too, worry about a potential slaughter? So today the danger is even more real. Wow, what a difference!..

Let me make myself clear. Of course the situation is worse now. Certainly I am sad to see the Arabs officially taking over the military building in Hebron. Certainly the fact that the Arabs have unprecedented confidence and weapons to harm Jews is a horrible thing, and there is no doubt that when given the orders, they can harm a lot more soldiers who are stationed at the local Jewish ghetto. I am not coming to say that the government policies are not criminal, and I certainly justify the fury of the people towards this government. All I am saying is that all this is only a continuation of a process, and no dramatic change of what already was.

Jews! Hebron is an example for all of Eretz Yisrael. What happened to 85% of the territory of Hebron 30 years after it was conquered, will happen G-d forbid to Yehuda and Shomron if we do not wake up and realize that the mitzvah of “yishuv HaAretz” includes conquering it from it’s inhabitants,and one cannot separate one from the other because it seems less nice or ethical.

What is quite worrisome is that many of the Yesha leaders, realizing the bankruptcy of their policies, are starting to go down the already paved path of “recognizing realities”. They are hinting about “finding a common dialogue” with the PA. Will the the settlers be the latest ones to adopt the leftist policies because of “forced realities”, just as Netanyahu claims he did?

Or perhaps we will understand what we have not understood for the last 30 years. Perhaps, at least now, those faithful to Israel, Hashem and His commandments will understand that the left and right are worthless. Perhaps now they will awaken and openly adopt the Jewish solution – the entire Mitzvah of Yishuv HaAretz, including the demand to disinherit goyim?

No. Do not think that this is far-fetched. There is no doubt that the momenta large enough group dares to arise and offer the Jewish solution, G-d will be with them, the masses will follow, and the salvation to Israel will begin.

Land Day

“But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass that those whom you allow to remain shall be as thorns in your eyes, and stings in your sides, and shall distress you in the land where you dwell”. A verse in Parshat Masay. A verse in parshat “Land Day”. A verse in parshat Har Homa. A verse we refuse to listen to.

Twenty-one years ago (editor note: actually, in 1976), a day was determined as “Land Day” in the State of Israel. This important day was set down by the Arabs of the territories and the Arabs within the state of Israel – the “loyal” ones. They are so loyal, that they determined on “Land Day” that the land of Israel belongs to them. To them and not to us. But we learned nothing, and continued emphasizing how the Israeli Arabs are loyal to us. We forcibly covered our eyes. “Who is blind as my servant”, the prophet Isaiah already told us. We want to be blind. The Arabs say that the land they dwell in belongs to them, and it doesn’t interest us. What does land mean to us? After a 2,000 year exile andbeing cut off from our land, we don’t begin to grasp what land means to the Arab. We have lost our national instincts, even when we are talking about the only land we have.

This past week, Moshe Katzav, who is certainly one of the more worthless ministers in the Israeli government, got up and declared that the Arabs of Israel have lived with us for 49 years, and they will continue to live with us for hundreds of years. What does Katzav, who is considered a religious man, really think? Does he believe in the coming of the Messiah, for example? If so, does he think that the Messiah is some Mafdalnick who will leave the Jew-hating Arabs amongst us? Does he think that in the final war with Gog and Magog, when vengeance will be exacted against all those gentiles who distressed the Jewish People – does he think that the Arabs, who are the major enemy in this generation, will be let off scot-free for the “chesed” they have shown us? But such concepts are too deep for a shallow politician like Katzav, who is mainly concerned with his political standing.

This insanity is not a joke, but rather expresses the overall approach of the Israeli leadership. The time has come where we stopped kidding ourselves, and realize that the Arabs of Israel represent the most concrete danger facing the State of Israel. Each one sees himself as a Palestinian. Can we not understand that the use of the expressions “Land Day” and “We are Palestinians” signify that they believe all the land is theirs? And even if today they realize they don’t have the ability to actualize their dream and therefore adopt pragmatic political means, in the end they believe that the day will come where the State of Israel will be a passing episode. More importantly, the Arab understands that since Israel is a democracy, he can simply rely on his natural growth rate to eventually bring him to his destination. He need not be a majority. It is sufficient for them to be a third of the Knesset, so that they may team up with the treasonous left and cancel the Jewish State. And all this through “peace”, with the support of huge chunks of the Likud and other right-wing parties.

Obviously, we can go on and on. But we’ve said enough. For all this was said by my father, HY”D, twenty-five years ago, and they are obvious to any sane person. And he who doesn’t understand it, simply does not want to understand it, and any further discussion of the issue is a waste of time.

The real war is an internal one. It is between those who are willing to accept upon themselves the concept of “Havdala” between Israel and the nations, and those who are not willing to adopt this concept. It is interesting that in the past, when one spoke on transfer or expulsion, it was opposed by use of practical arguments. (“It isn’t realistic”, “We won’t get money from America”) But today the struggle centers around “racism”. That is, they are saying that even if you are right, it is forbidden since it is “racism”. This is where the war between the Jews and hellenists lies. Between those who believe in the gods of democracy and western culture, and those who believe in the G-d of Israel who gave us Torah and separated between us and the nations. As we come down to the wire, each one of us will have to decide where he is holding. We will no longer be able to straddle both sides of the fence.

A Time For Soul Searching

Let thousands of Lebanese citizens be killed, as long as the hair on the head of an Israeli soldier does not fall!

The falling of our soldiers in Lebanon has once again awakened the “argument” between Israeli politicians. One argument says we must remove the IDF from Lebanon immediately, and concerning the fate of the northern settlements when the Hizbollah parks itself on the border – what will be will be. The other argument states that we have no choice other than to stay in Lebanon, and concerning the soldiers who are in constant danger from the Hizbollah guerrillas – what will be will be, as their hands are tied from returning fire to the enemy.

In essence, there is no basic difference between these two arguments. Both lead to more killing and to a dead end. A much deeper probe into the matter will reveal that the tragedy of Lebanon is the fact that there is a “consensus” between all the politicians on the following: 1. It is forbidden to harm citizens even if it means our soldiers die. 2. It is forbidden to take actions which will anger the world 3. Lebanon is not ours, and our ultimate goal is to leave it for our arch-enemies. By rejecting these bogus premises, we will see how the problem of Lebanon can be solved in a flash!

There are four points which change our entire approach to the subject of Lebanon:

  1. If we remove from our minds the insanity that says it is better to endanger our own soldiers than to hurt civilians, we can hit targets which we work so hard at trying to hit, and all without endangering one soldier’s life. Everyone knows the ability of our air force (when given achance to act). Do we remember operation Din and Heshbon, where we cleaned out the area sending the Lebanese citizens northward?
  2. If we can remove from our minds the insanity that it is preferable to endanger vital interests of the country, as long as the world and UN do not condemn us, we will reveal that the handcuffs we have put on our soldiers will fall off in an instant! How this would make it easier to fight the Hizbollah, which even the word “army” is far from the proper term to describe them. It is not that they are sophisticated, as the media claims, but rather we are stupid.
  3. We are imprisoned by the mindset that if we tell our enemies morning and evening that Lebanon is not our land, they will calm down. Quite the contrary! Such declarations only encourage them that they are defeating the invincible IDF. If we would declare after attacks on us that we are annexing that part of Lebanon in order to protect our citizens, the rules of the game would change.
  4. Most important: If we realized that the Lebanese front is not a separate problem, and is exactly like the problem in Judea and Samaria, we would understand everything. For on each part of the land of Israel (and Lebanon is a holy part of Israel, more than the Golan), there is the mitzvah, “and you shall disinherit the inhabitants of the land”. This is the Torah answer, and it is also logic. The hate of the Hizbollah towards us is just like all the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians: It has nothing to do with withdrawal from a certain area, but rather with our physical extermination.

So the solution in Lebanon is not found with the right or the left, but rather with the Torah. It is the same solution as that of Judea and Samaria -annexation of the territory and expulsion of the Arab. Many will say that such a solution is not realistic. And we say, what is realistic? That our soldiers fall non-stop in Lebanon, as if it is some cruel decree from heaven? Is it realistic to blow up in buses? In the horrible situation we are in, we better start checking out these “unrealistic” solutions. Afterall, the entire existence of the Jewish People and it’s rise after 2,000 years is also “unrealistic”.

On Hevron

As we come down to the critical moments for Hebron, we feel it is important to make two comments concerning the message that has been conveyed by the settlement leaders in the struggle for Hebron.

I have no doubt that many think this is the proper strategy. But no. Firstly, by use of such tactics, one misses the point, which is to communicate the clear and uncompromising message that it is forbidden IN ANYWAY to retreat from Hebron, and one who retreats from Hebron will eventually retreat from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, thereby bringing on a Holocaust to the Jews in Israel, G-d forbid. This is the perfect opportunity to successfully communicate this clear and proud message, when all eyes of the world are upon Hebron, and it is a pity to pass it up.

Beyond all this, even from a practical point of view, their approach will not succeed in preventing the withdrawal. The security argument comes off sounding wimpy, as if the Jews of Hebron are asking for favors, instead of conveying that it is the settlers of Hebron who are doing the favor for all the residents of Israel, and not the other way around. But unfortunately, what is happening by emphasizing the security argument, is that more and more people are becoming convinced that there is no choice other than to evacuate the Jews of Hebron, and so to speak, solve the problem. After all, it it boils down to security, why not just leave in the first place.

The second mistake in the way the struggle is being carried out is unfortunately nothing new. It is as old as the YESHA settlement movement itself. And that is the attempt to delude us, that all which is needed is to acquire one more building, or build one more house, or bring more Jews to walk around the dangerous area of Hebron. They still do not grasp that as long as Arabs live in Hebron or in the Land of Israel, there is no chance for peace or for Jewish settlements – not in Hebron, and not in Tel Aviv. It was nice to see tens of thousands of Jews in Hebron two weeks ago. But we also saw a Hillul Hashem that hundreds and maybe thousands of soldiers and police had to walk around scared in Hebron, in order to protect the Jews from the hundreds of thousands of vipers who live there, and whose very existence threatens the lives of every Jew. For the Torah states: “And if you do not disinherit the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those whom you leave will be thorns in your eyes and thickets in your sides, and they will distress you in the land in which you dwell.” How the settlement leaders have consistently ignored this explicit warning in the Torah, which is also so logical.

The settlers, who have always represented a breath of spiritual fresh air in the material wilderness of the Israeli political scene, could have in a very natural offered a genuine alternative leadership to the Jewish People, who so thirst to be led by men of real faith. But no. They too are stricken with lack of faith, always choosing “to make the best out of a terrible situation”, and never taking the initiative to really solve problems because “the nation is not yet ready”, or other similar excuses.

And so, only a few are ready to say the truth, and they are abused by the wicked regime with administrative detention arrests, restriction orders, and endless trials. The truth is heavy, and so it’s carriers are few. Thus, he who really cares about the fate of Hebron, the fate of Eretz Yisrael, and the fate of Am Yisrael, must join those few who have the courage to speak the truth. Because even if they are relatively small in number, their influence is 10 and 100 times greater than all the parve and unfocused actions that are undertaken by those who do not understand nor want to understand.

The Jewish Answer

Once again Arab murderes have killed a mother and child in the land of Israel. Once again, it is one of the prominent settlement leaders who has been directly hurt. At the risk of sounding cruel, it seems as if the Almighty is trying to send a message directly at them!

Once again the confused Yesha leaders held another media-covered grandoise meeting in which they demanded: “To give the Zionist answer”. Once again, the same nonsense. The “Zionist answer”. It is as if they learn nothing! What is the “Zionist answer” according to them? Expanding settlements…(they don’t dare speak of new settlements anymore!) They are simply stuck in the same mindset of ten years ago! As if another five houses or five hundred houses in Bet-El is the problem or the solution. Why does the “Zionist answer” always begin and end with the concept of settlements? After all, the Torah itself gives the Jewish answer when it commands us: “And you shall take possession of the land, and dwell therein”. And Rashi says: “You shall take possession of it from its inhabitants, and then ‘you shall dwell therein’, then you will be able to remain in it; but if not, you will not be able to remain in it.” That is to say, that if you do not expel the goyim, the settlements will be useless! Here is the Sforno: “When you burn out the inhabitants of the land, Then you will merit to inherit it to your children…” The Torah itself explicitly warns: “But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land…they shall harass you in the land…” Ohr HaChayim: “Not only will they hold on to parts of Israel which you have not yet conquered, but even those parts you have conquered, they will harass you…by saying ‘get out here!'” What Ruach Hakodesh! Why must they be stuck in their same tired perceptions, failing to give the most logical and Zionist answer which is the expulsion of those who have been murdering us in our country for the last 100 years!? The time has arrived to free ourselves from the faulty Zionism of “Mapai”. Zionism is indeed settling the land, but it also includes the expulsion of the foreign inhabitants. The NRP slogan of “Zionism with Nishama” (soul) must be replaced by “Zionism with Nikama” (vengeance).

Excerpts from Shiur

I’m opening up with what is written in Judges, Chapter 3: “Now these are the nations which the Lord left to put Yisrael to the test by them…” It’s a strange verse – that G-d left the nations amongst us to “test us”. But that’s it: the biggest test was always the existence of the goyim in Eretz Yisrael. This was always the key issue which determined whether we would accept the yoke of Heaven and expel them, or not. Each time, for one reason or another, it was the crucial test, and the criterion for true belief. Of course, in this generation, one can see how this is the issue that tests us. How few people are willing to self-sacrifice on this issue. Everyone is getting themselves organized for their private struggle. Hebron is worrying about Hebron, Gush Ezion knows it is in trouble and they are gearing themselves for battle over Gush Ezion. The same thing with the Jordan Valley settlements. The same thing with the Temple Mount. Everybody on their own personal battle, but no one tackles this issue, even though it is the only thing that can really save us. But it isn’t nice, you get labeled racist for it.

Let’s face it. To struggle every day to get 30 boys to learn in Shchem is not the battle. Shchem is already lost – what are you doing? Is this where the efforts of our best people should lie? To build five more houses in Hebron? OK – let some people worry about it. But everyone! All of the finest and dedicated Jews around have to put their efforts into this. The government doesn’t really care about five more houses. They can deal with it – it doesn’t really hinder them – it’s only a little thorn in their sides. Why make this the grand goal? Does it matter anymore if we get to enter the Temple Mount in groups of fives instead of twos? And maybe one day they’ll even let us have a minyan in some corner where nobody sees! All the good Jews who fight for this are doing a great mitzvah – but can’t some of these good Jews fight on the larger front – The battle of Judaism vs. Hellenism which is so accentuated by the Arab problem. What’s the worse that can happen – they will be called a racist? At least if you win, you save the entire picture. But if your entire goal is to add five more houses in Hebron, than you end up sucumbing to the hellenists in order to find favor in their eyes – that is, to denounce “extremist” Jews, to compromise on ideology – after all, you set your goal as five more houses, and so this is what you have to do to get it. The problem is, people don’t want a bad stigma. But the fact is, the leftist hates the settlers in Hebron exactly like they hate the Kahanists.

Our job is to speak the truth and fight the major battle. We don’t care if we are called racists. There is this new slogan, “words can kill”. Words can also “make one live”. Our goal is to spread words of truth among the people. Only this can bring the change…

Video: Rabbi Kahane at Camp Sdei Chemed

Rabbi Kahane addressing a Jewish audience at Camp Sdei Chemed

Masay: The Problem of Going Half-Way

While it is true that the national religious movement in Israel has put forth great efforts in the fulfilling of the mitzvah “Yishuv Ha’Aretz” (the settling of the land), it is important to point out that they are familiar with only half of the mitzvah. For the mitzvah of “Yishuv Ha’Aretz” has two sides to it. Well known to us all is the first side – the establishing of settlements. That’s the “nice” part of the mitzvah. But it is the other side that has been totally ignored by those who proudly wave the banner of “Yishuv Ha’Aretz”. Obviously, we are speaking of the mitvah of expelling the gentile from the land. The word used in the Torah and numerous times in our parsha is “horashtem”, which literally means “you shall disinherit”. Rashi defines that “ugly” word “horashtem” as “gerashtem”, meaning,” you shall expell”. In any case, it is an inseperable part of the mitzvah of “Yishuv Ha’Aretz”.

Settling the land and expelling the gentiles in it are not only two sides of the same mitzvah, but each side is actually dependent upon the other. The Torah constantly warns us about the impossibility of fulfilling just half of the mitzvah: “If you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, those who remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, causing you troubles in the land you settle.” (Numbers 33:55) The Sforno adds: “If you don’t BURN THEM OUT (the gentile inhabitants), even though you have conquered the land, you won’t merit to inherit the land for your children”. And here are the prophetic but painful words of the Ohr HaChayim: “Not only will they hold unto the part of the land that you weren’t able to conquer, but even the parts that you succeeded in conquering, they will say to you, ‘get out of here!'” In short, one is dependent on the other – there is no inheriting without disinheriting.

Let us now jump to the dramatic moment when Israel crossed the Jordan River. Here we witness an incredible event. While still in the middle of the Jordan, Joshua tells them: “Know why you are crossing the Jordan – so that you expell the inhabitants of the land from before you as the verse says, ‘and you shall disinherit the inhabitants of the land from before you…’ If you do, fine. And if not, these waters will come down and sweep away you and me…” (Sota 34) One may ask: While the thrashing waters of the Jordan were standing 12 miles high about to swamp the Jewish People, was this a time for Joshua to deliver a speech? The answer is that Joshua knew that a lack of understanding of the importance of the mitzvah of expelling the gentile would pose a constant threat to the Jews, placing their entire mission in jeapardy. Thus he warned them. Know, that if you do not intend on throwing out the gentile from the land, there is no reason to continue. It is better that the waters drown us now. Indeed, a rather effective way to convey a difficult message.

In spite of all this, the Jewish People failed in their task, and allowed many gentiles to continue to reside in the land. As a result, they were severely chastized for their sin by the angel of G-d: “Moreover, I said I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be as snares to you and their gods shall be as a trap to you.” (Judges 2) At this stage begins the description of the spiritual deterioration that characterized the times of the Book of Judges. Indeed, as G-d warned, the root of the evil was the lack of expulsion of all the gentiles from the land, their mere presence causing the Jews to learn from their evil ways.

And now history repeats itself before our very eyes. The leaders of the settler movements made a tragic mistake in thinking all these years that they can build one yishuv after another and in the meantime ignore the existence of two million Arabs who surround these settlements and dream of the day when they can throw them into the sea. No less tragic is their absurd reaction to Arab terror – that they will build another yishuv. Nonsense! The very opposite is true. ANOTHER SETTLEMENT IS NOT THE ANSWER TO THE ARAB TERROR, BUT RATHER THE ARAB TERROR IS A RESULT OF US BEING CONTENT WITH MAKING SETTLEMENTS AND NOT COMPLETING THE ENTIRE MITZVAH – WHICH IS THE EXPULSION OF THE ARABS. The solution to the terror is the fulfillment of the ENTIRE mitzvah of “Yishuv Ha’Aretz” Here is the choice: Either all those faithful to Torah and Eretz Yisrael overcome their fear of “what will the left say” and adopt for themselves a new agenda which includes fulfilling part two of the mitzvah “Yishuv Ha’Aretz” or they pathetically refuse to fulfill this Torah commandment and thereby bring about the dismantlement of all that they have built for the past twenty years. How ironic. All those who refused to listen to Parshat Masay are forced now to listen to the left’s arguement, “You can’t occupy a foreign people”. The left is basically correct, only their conclusion is warped. But the logical Jewish approach is clear: Either us or them. The time has come that we decide once and for all.

Ki Tissa: The Seven Canaanite Nations – a People Or a Concept?

At the end of Parshat Ki-Tisa, God prepares the Jewish people for their entry into the land of Israel (which awaited them shortly if not for the subsequent sin of the spies), and we see the following commandment: “Observe thou that which I am commanding thee this day, behold, I am driving out before thee the Amorite, and the Cananite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goes, lest they be for a snare in the midst of thee.”(34:11,12)

The children of Israel are about to set foot into the land of Israel, which is heavily populated by several different nations. God does not ignore the fact (like we do today) that there is a definite “Canaanite problem”, and he gives the solution straight up: The Jews must give the Canaanite nations three possible options: (see Rambam, Hilchot Milachim, Chapter 6 regarding the three letters that Joshua sent)

To accept the fact that the Jewish people are taking over their land even before the Jews enter, and then they can remain in the land as long as they agree to the conditions of obeying the seven Noachide Laws, taxes, and servitude.
If this is unacceptable to them, they have the right to leave the country immediately.
Their final option is to stay and fight to prevent the Jews from settling the land, and the halacha regarding their entire population of men, women, and children is: “And thou shalt not allow a soul to live.” After being defeated in war, they are not permitted to “regret” or change their minds and say: Wait, we made a mistake and we are willing to give up and accept the first option. For they have already surrendered their right to remain and live in Israel.
That isn’t Kahane speaking, that is the Bible.

A Fifth Column

The great commentator the Abarbenel, on the aforementioned verse, comments on this final commandment which prohibits the making of a pact with the nations of the land after they have been defeated in war, and explains the reasoning behind it: “Because after they (the Jewish People) took the land from them, there is no doubt that they will seek to do evil to the Jews. For this the verse says, ‘the land whither you goest’, meaning because you, the Jews, came to this land and took it from its inhabitants; you stole and conquered it, how can they ever make a covenant of peace and love with you?! In other words, if there is a war (with enemies from outside), they will join your enemies and fight against you.”

Here, the Abarbenel has taught us a tremendous lesson by entering the psyche of the conquered nation. The halachic prohibition of making a covenant with the inhabitants of the land who fought against you and tried to prevent you from settling the land is derived from a very logical consideration which takes into account the natural feelings of the nations from which the land was conquered. For a nation which believes with all its heart that we stole their land will never comes to terms with such a situation, and will forever wait for the day when he can take his land back. Even if today he realizes that he hasn’t the opportunity to overcome the Jews and even shows signs of accepting the way things are and even smiles at us, he will join the enemy as a fifth column. How can one ignore these very troubling, but very natural and normal feelings that fester in the hearts of the “loser” – feelings that will be carried over to the children, who become even more frustrated than the parents.

For this reason the halacha comes to tell us that we must drive out those nations who refuse to accept Jewish rule and our conditions. The moment they engage in war with us and lose, they will never stop yearning and aspiring to take back the land they see as theirs.

History Repeats Itself

The Abarbenel pulls the rug out from all of those who babble about laws only applying to the Seven Nations. According to logic and reason, there is absolutely no difference between the Seven Nations and the Ishmaelites today. They rose up against us and tried to drive us into the sea. They wage a cruel war, and unleash vicious terror in their struggle to wipe us off of the face of the earth. In so doing, they have become the “Eighth Nation”, joining the list of the original seven, for the same concepts hold concerning them. (Similar things can be seen in Trachtate Avoda Zara, 20, Tosfos, and in many other laws whose origin is from the Torah, yet are applied to all nations since the codifiers did not see a reason to differentiate between them and the Seven Nations.)

How Should a Jewish Government Behave?

Can there be the slightest doubt that the words of the Abarbenel also apply to the Ishmaelites of today in Israel, who after their defeat, “seek to do evil to the Jews”, and will always wait for that great day when they can actualize their vision of “slaughter the Jews”? Can there be any value to a treaty with them, other than enabling them to buy time and get stronger until the moment arises when they are confident enough to try and massacre all of us? a true Jewish government would carry out the last part of the letter sent by Joshua to the Canaanites giving them the option of fleeing for their lives, or suffering the consequences!

Mishpatim: They Shall Not Dwell in Your Land

Several months ago a group of 120 Rabbis from the “religious-Zionist” camp issued a statement regarding the prohibition of handing over parts of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles. The five part statement began as follows: “Eretz Yisrael in its entirety belongs to the Jewish nation, and we are commanded by the Torah to inherit it and to dwell in it, and not to leave it in the hands of any other nation. It is forbidden to allow the gentiles to have a foothold in Israel, as it is written,’do not allow them a foothold’, and it is also written, ‘they shall not dwell in your land’. Therefore it is forbidden to withdraw from any part of Eretz Yisrael, thereby leaving it, G-d forbid, in the hands of gentiles”.

Seemingly, there is nothing new here. Ever since the withdrawal process from Eretz Yisrael got underway under Menachem Begin, we have heard from many sources, including the chief rabbinate, about the Torah prohibition forbidding the handing over of parts of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles. But in this latest statement, there is an addition which caught our eye, and that is the inclusion of the verse from our parsha, “they shall not dwell in your land”.

The Obligation To Expel the Goyim
Up until now, it was customary for such pronouncements to only mention the verse, “do not allow them a foothold”. From here the sages learn that “it is forbidden to give them (the gentiles) a foothold in the land” (Trachtate Yibamot), and this is brought down as the halacha. But they would never mention the verse, “they shall not dwell in your land”, which is a clear prohibition against allowing gentiles to live in Eretz Yisrael while under Jewish sovereignty. Indeed we find that when the Rambam brings the halacha forbidding gentiles to live in Eretz Yisrael, he sites this verse as the source of the prohibition. Here are his words from chapter ten of Hilchot Avodah Zarah (halacha 6) “But at a time when Israel has power over them (the gentiles), it is forbidden to allow them to live amongst us. Even as temporary residents… as it is written ‘they shall not dwell in your land’ – even temporarily. And if they accept the seven mitzvot of Bnei Noach, then they have the status of a resident stranger. And we only accept resident strangers when the Jubilee is in effect”.

Why did the religious national camp refrain from quoting the verse “they shall not dwell in your land” when justifying our hold onto the land? The answer is obvious. During the holy struggle by the rabbis to prevent withdrawals from Eretz Yisrael, they uncannily omitted the requirement of driving out the gentiles. This requirement is the flip side to the mitzvah of “yishuv HaEretz”, inseparable from and essential to the mitzvah of Eretz Yisrael. There can be no inheritance of the land without a disinheritance of it’s inhabitants. In order to avoid this issue, they were reluctant to bring the verse, “they shall not dwell in your land”. [At this point we should mention that the verse, “do not allow them a foothold”, also refers to the prohibition against allowing gentiles to remain in those parts of the land which we control, and not just to the buying, renting, or handing over of land, which is certainly forbidden as well. In any event, the rabbis preferred bringing the verse “do not allow them a foothold” since it usually connotes the more limited prohibition of handing over Jewish land to gentile sovereignty, and thus avoids the bigger issue of removing the
Arab trespasser].

Making the “Psak Halacha” Complete
The inclusion of the verse “they shall not dwell in your land” in this latest pronouncement is certainly a positive development. The problem is that after quoting this verse, and the verse, “do not allow them a foothold,” we are told in the very same breath that the conclusion of all this is that “it is forbidden to withdraw from any part of Eretz Yisrael and leave it G-d forbid, in the hands of gentiles”. That is the only conclusion?? Can we not deduct something more from these two verses? If they are going to take the time to finally quote “do not allow them to dwell in your land”, should they not take the next step in pronouncing “that we must drive the gentiles out of all parts of the land which are under our control, and no longer allow them to live in our land”, (and then afterwards they can add) “and all the more so it is forbidden by the Torah to hand over parts of the land to the gentile”!?

Either Us or Them
By now it is crystal clear to everyone that the tragic withdrawal process we find ourselves mired in is derived from the fact that we failed to drive out the gentile inhabitants after conquering the land. It is only the presence of huge and hostile Arab population centers which brings us to the decision that “there is no choice” other than handing over land to them. If we would have fulfilled the verse “do not allow them to dwell in your land”, then we would have been spared the transgression of the prohibition, “do not allow them a foothold”. These commandments are intrinsically dependent on one another.

On the verse, “do not allow them to dwell in your land”, the Sforno comments: “On those parts of the land which you conquer and dwell in – they shall not dwell. This was not done in the time of Joshua. As it is written, ‘the Canaanites lived amongst them at Gezer’ (Judges chapter 2)…” In other words, our generation made the same tragic mistake as did the generation of Joshua. Yes, they captured the land. But by not driving out the inhabitants, they failed to actualize their conquest and sovereignty, which in effect, rendered their conquest insubstantial. (see Judges, chapter 2) “The deeds of the fathers are a sign for the sons”.

Rabeinu BeChayei, in his book Kad HaKemach writes: “It is forbidden to appear before a gentile court of law, but only before Jewish ones, as the Torah says ‘these are the ordinances which you shall set before them’ “, and Rashi comments: ‘before them, but not before the heathens’. And the sages teach us that it is forbidden to be judged before a gentile court, even if you know that regarding a certain law, they will decide it like the laws of Israel. And so, one can only go to a court of God-fearing Torah scholars, as it says “before them”… The major substance of the Torah are its laws, and if we do not use them, this is a Chillul Hashem, and he who does not protest against this desecrates the Name of God, and disgraces the Torah of Moshe, and gives a hand to idol-worship….

And so it is no coincidence, that the Israeli judiciary stands at the front-line of the Hellenist camp in this cultural war we find ourselves in the midst of. The recent decisions by the Israeli Supreme Court to coerce the chief rabbinate to defy the Jewish halacha regrading the laws of marriage, kashurt, and “who is a Jew” is a part of their overall goal to cut down their natural foe – the rabbincal courts. It is to show them again and again, who the “boss” is, what are the values upon which the state of Israel postulates – democratic values or Jewish ones

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